Important work almost always takes time. Buildings, churches, businesses, schools, and skills take periods of time and effort. And one of the biggest reasons great endeavors are not accomplished is because people quit. Or if they don’t quit totally, they lose momentum and hardly make progress. This happens all the time.
One of the biggest motivators that keep us moving forward is our purpose vision. Hebrews 12 tells us that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before Him. He looked ahead at what His pain and suffering would accomplish, and it gave Him the strength to endure.
Energized & Motivated
When you have God-imparted purpose and vision, when you can see what your effort, sacrifice, and perseverance can turn into reality, it gives you energy and motivation. It is hard to push through the tough times, to fight the Goliath’s, to keep on going when you’re tired. But if you can see at least some of the good that will come out of it, fresh strength shows up.
I have never, not once, heard of a great ministry, business, or individual who did not face daunting hardships on their way to success. Walt Disney mortgaged his home to help raise the money he needed for one of his new projects. And that is much more common than you think.
There are Jesus followers in many nations today who go to prison in order to follow Christ. In some countries their church buildings are burned down and they are considered illegal if they meet to worship Jesus. But they keep going because they have purpose; they have a vision from God to expand His kingdom and help people follow Jesus.
More Important than Success
A logical question we ask ourselves is, “Can this succeed?” If there is no chance of success, then why try? Why give your blood, sweat, and tears for something that will never be accomplished?
I agree that we should ask that question. But it is very important to know how we define success in order to make a good decision. For a business to stay in business, it has to make a profit, or it will cease to exist. Churches should not invest manpower and money into ministries that are no longer effective just because they’ve always done it that way. We need to be good stewards of what God entrusts to us.
But in some instances, continuing to do the work, even if chances are small that it will succeed or that there is no way it will succeed, is still success. God told Jeremiah that his message would be rejected but that he should speak it anyway. By the world’s standards, and even church growth standards, his ministry was a failure. For the most part, they did not respond to his message. But because He had a clear purpose from God, He kept going, and in God’s eyes was a success.
Success in God’s Eyes
Fighting for the rights of the unborn cannot be dependent on whether it looks like success or not. Continuing to follow Jesus and share the Gospel has to continue, whether large numbers respond or not. Loving people, whether they love back or not, is not an option for Jesus followers. Continuing on in God’s purposes is sometimes success.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “It is not your business to succeed, but to do right; when you have done so, the rest lies with God.” Doing right in God’s eyes is success. Doing God’s purposes is always right.
Are we to be wise with the things God has entrusted to us? Of course we should. We should reflect and see how we can do things better and learn as we go. We need to prayerfully consider if this particular strategy, tactic, or method is the best way to go. But it should all be built on the question “Is this God’s purpose or not?”
Purpose gives direction. Purpose energizes. Purpose gives us vision of where to go and the power to endure.
*Taken from The Purpose Principles: Experience Greater Peace, Clarity, and Confidence through God’s Purposes
(Available July 7, 2019 https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Furlong/e/B00D1VVZT0?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000